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Winter weather winners and losers

Rochester, N.Y. Typically, business slows in January, but in this extreme cold, with temperatures hovering just above zero, sales have really dropped for some local store owners while others have seen unusually high profits.

The cold snap has definitely not helped us, weve definitely been down in business this month, said Ginger Northrop, owner of Ruffles Boutique in Brighton.

After a strong holiday season, Northrop said sales stayed up at her storeright up until the cold hit.

Its pretty cold, Rochester is really freezing right now, Northrop said. Weve had customers come in and say its too cold to even want to try things on.

According to a Morgan Stanley analyst, the majority of stores are still offering big holiday sales, marking down more merchandise at a deeper discount than last year.

Sale signs scattered storefronts at Marketplace Mall, but shoppers were in short supply Friday.

Northrop said the deals are not enough to get people into the door.

Theyre not really thinking about going out and shopping right now because its cold, they want to get home, they want to change into something warm, she said.

Once people get home, they want to stay in the heatgiving food delivery services a lot of business.

Its nice to hide under a blanket and wait for a pizza to come to your door, said Nate Henshaw, manager of Pontillos Pizza on Monroe Avenue.

In comparison to last year, January delivery sales there have nearly doubled.

Well, all hands on deck here for sure, Hanshaw said, its Americas go to, you got to have pizza.

Locally, that means about 200 pizzas delivered Friday night.

People dont want to come out of their house, Henshaw said. Its directly connected to the conditions of the roads and just the coldness.

Delivery drivers added that they dont mind braving the bitter cold, Henshaw said, the lower the temperatures the higher the tips.

While delivery businesses win big in the cold, its a waiting game for retailers.

The weather is a challenge but it gets better, Northrop said, were looking forward to spring.

 
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